British company exports giant Koi

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A British aquatic retailer has exported the largest Koi ever to leave Japan.

Rainbow Koi in Wiltshire, paid an undisclosed sum to a Japanese breeder for the fish - named Big Girl - which is 120cm/4' long and weighs 41kg/90lbs.

Tabloid newspapers are reporting that the fish is the largest Koi in the world, which Rainbow Koi says is not true.

Big Girl weighs a massive 41kg. Bigger than the British Record for a rod caught carp in the UK.

Spencer Lawton of Rainbow Koi told Practical Fishkeeping: "Unfortunately the story has been 'sexed up' quite a bit. She almost certainly isn't the largest Koi in the world, although I don't think there are any official records.

"She is officially the largest coloured Koi ever to be exported from Japan to any country. This obviously wasn't enough for the tabloids so they made up their own story.

"It's still a major coup for us, as short of traveling to Japan - and knowing the right people - you won't see a bigger coloured Koi anywhere else."

KigoiThe giant carp, which is a strain known as a Kigoi, is considered a special fish largely because of her size.

Lawton says that when their agent, Koi Water Barn of Kent, contacted them and offered them the chance to own the fish they couldn't say no.

"An opportunity to own the largest coloured Koi ever to be exported out of Japan was not going to happen every day so we jumped at it," said Lawton.

"The level of interest in her has been unbelievable. Most people just stand there looking at her with their mouths open!

"We are in the process of having an underwater web cam installed and hope to have a live feed on our website in the next couple of weeks. Then anyone who lives too far away can still have a look at the Big Girl in moving pictures rather than the usual still photographs of Koi.

"We certainly don't intend to sell her at the moment. It would take an exceptionally large offer for us to part with her."

The 17-year old fish isn't expected to grow much larger than its current size.

The fish has been sponsored by Kusuri Products, who are supplying Rainbow Koi with the giant carp's food.